Pretty Woman: So many times Hollywood portrays the fantasy of men rescuing the damsel in distress from a life on the streets. Picture: Supplied
The results of a new survey proves that men were sold the dream, and now they want their money back, writes Marchelle Abrahams.

Is it the excitement of getting caught out that drives men to solicit prostitutes for sex? 

According to a survey by dating website Victoria Milan, it’s not that. The survey took a look into the sex lives of 6 097 of its active male members from 15 countries, including South Africa, to find out if soliciting sex is as erotic and satisfying as it’s made out to be.

What the figures do confirm is that paid sex is a common practise with more than 23 percent saying they indulge in the forbidden fruit at least once a week. Almost half of those surveyed (47.3 percent) admitted to using prostitutes before.

But here’s the interesting part: more than a third of men (35 percent) say they absolutely do not enjoy the experience because it’s a necessity, not a pleasure. Yet, they continue to go back for more.

In 2015 the BBC’s Catrin Nye interviewed Londoner “Ben” who had slept with between 30 and 40 prostitutes at the time of airing. When asked why he paid for sex, he explained that he struggles with members of the opposite sex. “Paying for sex for me is a way of experiencing the kind of sex that I probably wouldn’t get without paying for it,” he said.

Like Ben, some of the men surveyed said they can’t live out their fantasies with their long-term partner (36 percent) while 40.1 percent believe they can’t find a readily available partner.

This still begs the question: Why go back for more if you’re not satisfied?

About 80 percent of men admitted to booking just one hour with an escort to get it over and done with as quickly as possible. And just five percent will pay to spend the night with their paid-for lover.

According to the survey, men are prepared to pay anything between R700 and R3K for the experience.

Maybe it comes down to the expectation? So many times Hollywood portrays the fantasy of men rescuing the damsel in distress from a life on the streets. Pretty Woman ring a bell?

The results of the survey proves that men were sold the dream, and now they want their money back. The majority of men (50.1 percent) say they weren’t satisfied because their experience with the escort lacked passion, enthusiasm and it felt as though they were just another customer. More than one-quarter said the escort was much less attractive than what they were expecting.

According to the survey, men are prepared to pay anything between R700 and R3K for the experience.

We asked a few anonymous guys if and how much they would pay for sex.

Jabu*, in the media industry, says it depends on what is on offer: “I think I’d pay for it, sex, but what will be on offer? For the full package, I’d fork out R500.”

Aspiring singer Hakeem* scoffs at the idea: “Hell no, why pay for it when I can get it for free?”

Married life coach Ryan Brown says he hasn’t been with a prostitute, but does admit that he would consider it: “If she looks like a famous actress or is really pretty, I could go for R1 000.”

Founder and chief executive of Victoria Milan, Sigurd Vedal, said there’s nothing wrong in engaging an escort for pleasure and release, however it’s clear men aren’t satisfied by the experience.

“Men love sex and need to have it regularly, and escorts meet that demand. However, the majority aren’t satisfied with the experience and are often disappointed when the escort doesn’t live up to expectations in the bedroom or doesn’t look like her advertised picture,” he said.

* Not their real names.